New Challenges for Gordon Ramsay and Bear Grylls, ‘Irma Vep’ and ‘Mind Over Murder’ finales, ‘Late Show’ Musical Residencies

In a busy night for National Geographic, ubiquitous TV chef Gordon Ramsay faces off with other master cooks in exotic settings, Running Wild adventurer Bear Grylls challenges celebrities with survival skills, and BBQ pitmaster Big Moe Cason embarks on a journey to learn about other cultures’ cuisines. HBO’s meta making-of-a-movie drama Irma Vep and the mesmerizing true-crime series Mind Over Murder air their final episodes. For the next three weeks, Late Show with Stephen Colbert welcomes famous musicians (starting with St. Vincent) to join house band Stay Human for a weeklong residency.

Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Showdown

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Showdown

Series Premiere

TV’s busiest master chef leaves Hell’s Kitchen for more exotic settings in a three-part series that pits him against former protégés—and in the Aug. 8 season finale, his own daughter. But first, it’s off to the rugged Jurassic Coast of England to gather ingredients the hard way: leaping off cliffs for seaweed, milking a water buffalo to make mozzarella. He’ll take on former protégé Paul Ainsworth, who serves as his local guide, for a climactic cookoff to see if the student can upstage the king.

Running Wild with Bear Grylls the Challenge
National Geographic/Ben Simms

Running Wild With Bear Grylls

Season Premiere

It’s not enough merely to run wild with the famed naturalistic and thrill-seeker, Grylls is now prepping his celebrity guests to use their new survival skills to tackle a stressful situation by episode’s end. In the new season’s opener, he introduces Thor: Love and Thunder star Natalie Portman to southern Utah’s slot canyons and the Escalante desert. She’ll use her new skills to climb a mountain and light a signal fire for extraction.

National Geographic/Jon Kroll

World of Flavor With Big Moe Cason

Series Premiere

From the American South to South America and the Bahamas, a sumptuous four-part docuseries sends the champion barbecue pitmaster and Navy vet around the globe to see how different cultures prefer their fire-roasted fare. First stop: Charleston, South Carolina, where he goes crabbing and hunting for oysters and learns a new sausage technique. Will it be enough to impress locals when Cason whips up a low-country dish at a food festival?

Alicia Vikander as Mira in Irma Vep

Irma Vep

Series Finale

As production on the Les Vampires remake comes to an end, so does this limited drama series that has caught the attention of serious film lovers. In the finale, actress Mira (Alicia Vikander) and her ambitious assistant Regina (Devon Ross) plan their next moves.

Mind Over Murder
Courtesy of HBO

Mind Over Murder

Series Finale

The true-crime docuseries wraps on an emotional note of catharsis, when locals from small-town Beatrice, Nebraska stage a play based on court and police transcripts, including interrogations of the so-called “Beatrice Six” convicted and later exonerated for the murder of Helen Wilson. Intended as “a place of reconciliation and of healing,” the journalistic play stirs up extreme feelings from the audience, many of whom are still coming to grips with this miscarriage of justice and its long aftermath.

Stephen Colbert on The Late Show

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

If the house band Stay Human has a different vibe the next few weeks, it’s intentional. In a first for the late-night show, famous performers sit in for weeklong music residencies—it’s a first for the musicians as well—starting with Grammy-winning St. Vincent. Next week, the legendary James Taylor sits in, and Joe Walsh guests for the week of Aug. 8.

Inside Monday TV:

  • Stranger Sharks (7/6c, Discovery): Stranger Things’ Noah Schapp teams up with Mark Rober to explore underseas ruins in a Shark Week special. Followed by Air Jaws: Top Guns (8/7c), Great White Serial Kill: Fatal Christmas (9/8c), Rise of the Monster Hammerheads (10/9c) and Mega Predators of Oz (11/10c).
  • American Ninja Warrior (8/7c, NBC): The endurance series introduces new obstacles, Hopscotch and Box Office, as the semifinals continue.
  • Better Call Saul (9/8c, AMC and AMC+): Following last week’s bombshell move by ex-lawyer Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), a new player gets in the game as the final season continues.
  • Winter’s Yearning (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at Filmed over seven years in Greenland, this POV documentary is an immersive portrait of the island nation and its inhabitants as they anticipate the building of a multi-billion-dollar smelting plant by U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa Corporation.